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Quick! Opera is Free Today  

:: Tuesday, August 30, 2005 ::

Odd of me, I know, to rave about a browser and even weirder still since its not Firefox, which is my default, but I followed the advice of Cre8asiteForums Tech Admin, Dave (IloveJackDaniels) and clicked the link he provided so I could register and upgrade my free copy of Opera.

Why would I care about Opera? For starters, in several of the test cases for my clients, I take their sites for a quick spin in Opera. This is especially important for sites that claim to be targeted to a global market or advanced computer users.

Because Opera, and now Firefox (and maybe IE is now tagging along, but I don't care much for it and don't follow their news), offer more end user controls to enhance their experience, you can turn off JavaScript, JAVA, popups, sound and many choices related to them.

Since this capability exists and is growing more popular, many sites that I evaluate render or perform badly in these other browsers. It's obvious these websites were designed for MSIE only, or perhaps Netscape and IE. In Opera, my own personal settings are set to turn off everything because I'm a research oriented user and not very interested in being entertained.

I Can Bring Home the Bacon

Which brings me to another topic that's been in the news and popping in forums' threads lately. It has to do with the behavioral differences between men and women online.

In Web site's appearance matters - study of men vs women we've had a rollicking discussion on this. In fact, it attracted Holly Buchanan is VP of Client Services at Future Now Inc., who has made some great contributions to that thread. (See her blog: Marketing to Women Online)

There's the release of this article, Much ado about sex and Web sites in the latest issue of the Human Factors International UI Design newsletter.
"Women and men have different aesthetics. People who have been married already knew this.

This work subtly reinforces some things that usability people have known for quite some time as well:

* know who you are designing for
* understand their conceptual model... or in this case their aesthetic...
* validate graphic choices and task-flow designs through field usability testing.
* test users that are representative of the priority customer groups

Moss and colleagues' work does not only demonstrate the obvious, though. It subtly emphasizes the importance of two parameters of design that usability practitioners evaluate less systematically: brand effectiveness evaluations and message/content testing."

Another good piece for web designers on the gender site design topic is Holly Buchanan's Should a Man or a Woman Design Your Site?.

I saw an article yesterday and neglected to track it, (sorry), that said men use the web for more technical things and women use it more often to look for coupons and sales. BAH! That one had me screaming for awhile. Nobody ever surveys me. Not even for this silly Are women safer surfers than men?

Quickies

Clicktracks has a new bid management toy: BidHero.

The Search Engine College now accepts credit card payments. Kalena Jordan wrote to say, "We now have a secure payment gateway via 2CheckOut which means you can pay for your courses securely online via any major credit card OR PayPal. You can even pay in your choice of currency.".

How to Help - Hurricane Katrina - CNN list. I keep wanting to hop in my car and drive down to help but not even the residents who evacuated are allowed back yet. I admired one man who was interviewd on CNN, who compared his personality to that of a "bulldog" and insisted that he and others there are determined to survive and rebuild.

And in the "Nobody Cares Kim" Department

My kids and, more to the point really, ALL their friends, start back to school tomorrow. Despite a weekend of shopping for clothes and school supplies, (our schools can't afford books, pencils, paper, tissues, pens, glue, highlighters, pencil sharpeners, notebooks or scissors, so parents have to purchase all this), my daughter called me on her cell phone last night while I was at my son's football practice to tell me she has "nothing to wear" to school.

Sometimes being a parent is terrifying.

:: posted by Kim Krause Berg on 8/30/2005 12:58:00 PM

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